Michael Gianaris, the powerful deputy state Senate majority leader, was against gerrymandering before he was for it.
The Democratic senator from Queens is being called out for a series of comments he made a decade ago, saying he opposed the gerrymandering of legislative maps for the benefit of one political party – when Republicans were in power.
In 2011, Gianaris complained about how Republicans who controlled the state Senate redesigned districts to benefit GOP candidates.
But reformer Gianaris has changed his mind now that he and Democrats control the state Senate and he has endorsed redistricting plans that independent experts say could significantly boost Democratic representation and halve the representation of the GOP in Congress.
“Leg. district lines should not be drawn in a manipulated and partisan manner,” Gianaris railed in a tweet from August 31, 2011.
In another tweet at the time, he said, “#Gerrymandering statewide needs to be stopped.”
Gianari too gave his opinion on September 2, 2011, “The game has to stop when it comes to #redistricting.”
“The governor must veto all district lines that are not drawn in a bipartisan manner,” Gianaris said. also blown in a tweet from August 24, 2011.
A redistricting expert rapped about the change in position of Gianaris
“Senator Gianaris was right ten years ago and wrong today.” said Michael Li, senior attorney for the NYU Brennan Center for Social Justice.
“Just because the shoe is now on the other foot doesn’t change the fact that New Yorkers deserve fair cards and, in fact, voted for them when they changed the New York constitution. in 2014.”
One of the targets of Democrats’ gerrymandering is Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, New York’s only Republican sitting in Congress, whose 11th District covers all of Staten Island and parts of conservative-minded South Brooklyn.
Under the plan, Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler’s 10th congressional district would absorb conservative-leaning neighborhoods that border the island, including Dyker Heights and Bath Beach, which are now represented by Malliotakis. Critics call him the “Jerrymander”.
Meanwhile, Malliotakis’ 11th CD would win the North Brooklyn neighborhoods of Sunset Park, Gowanus and Park Slope — some of the most liberal in the borough — making it much harder for her to seek re-election.
Malliotakis called Gianaris a hypocrite.
“Senator Gianaris must have forgotten that it is the voters who must choose their representatives, and not the other way around. He and his fellow Democrats are ignoring the will of New Yorkers, who in 2014 and again last November voted in a referendum for nonpartisan precincts. she told the Post.
Gianaris defended his party’s actions.
“The maps are infinitely better than the maps that currently exist. And a lot of the bulk of our job was to undo the damage done by these maps over the last few decades,” Gianaris said Thursday after the legislative maps.
“The Republicans put the hammer on those lines over and over again, and we just had to fix it.” he said, referring to state senate districts.
He continued, “The GOP has no moral standing to question anyone for overthrowing democracy because they are at the top of the list, including people who refuse to acknowledge that the results of the presidential election were correct. And so they should be the last to question anyone’s moral authority on democratic principles.
An eight-member “independent” redistricting committee passed in an election referendum in 2014. But the commission was split between four Democrats and four Republicans.
Due to a partisan impasse, the panel was unable to agree on redistricting plans. By law, district redistricting was then left to Democratic lawmakers who control the House and Senate.
New York Post